Saturday, July 21, 2018

The great plundering of Buddhist temples in Nepal

By Steve Chao
Investigating how antiquities stolen from the Himalayas end up in museums and private collections around the world.
On the global art market, Himalayan statues of religious deities fetch millions of dollars. But to the Nepalese, they are living gods who have been stolen from their communities. In this exclusive Al Jazeera investigation, 101 East senior presenter and reporter Steve Chao takes viewers on abreathtaking journey across the Himalayas, to reveal how the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture.As he seeks to expose the international black market in religious treasures, Chao travels across Nepal from its capital Kathmandu to remote and ancient Buddhist temples in Mustang. Since the 1980s, authorities estimate thieves have plundered tens of thousands of Nepalese antiquities. About 80 percent of the countries religious artefacts have been stolen and sold into the $8bn-a-year illegal black market in art. [More]